Friday, November 21, 2008

Jimi interviewed by: Fuzzurin

Today, Fuzz and I are going to talk about touring and friends.

Fuzzurin - I had a question about the "scene," as well. How does touring work with VK bands and bands in general in Japan? I read a Dir en grey interview once where they were quoted saying that they don't actually travel around in a bus, they fly to each location, then go home, and fly to the next place. Are things like this common?

Jimi - Japan is roughly the same size as California, but it's not nearly as easy to get around by car as it is back in the states. (And I know L.A. traffic is rough, but I'm not from L.A.) A bus would just constitute an 8-hour drive to Osaka overnight, and that sounds horrible.
I'm only a dinky little band dude, and really I shoulda asked Hizaki or Ryo how this all works, but there are quite a few smaller airports around the major cities where bands like Deg play when on tour, so I can only assume they ship the equipment ahead of time and then catch up with it on a plane. I can't really say if it's common, because most bands we play with drive around in their vans and don't go much farther than Shizuoka or Nagoya (if they ever leave Kanto, that is), which isn't a terrible drive. I'm going to have to say that I'll get back to you on this, as a simple phone call could clear all this up.

Fuzzurin - Also, are bands usually close friends in VK bands in Japan? It seems as though most bands in America are like a family, but I've heard that things can be more impersonal in bands in Japan.

Jimi - All my bands back home felt like close friends and family, but that was because we were all still in school, saw each other every day, and generally had tons of free time. Here in Japan, I found the Laverite guys through a classified, so we weren't friends before and had no other purpose than doing the business of making music together.

At first I found this new arrangement thrilling; there was no time wasted during rehearsals, preparations were made quickly, efficiently, and economically, which was a stark contrast to the lazing about that plagued some members of my previous bands.

But the fact that I wasn't friends with Yue and Ryota felt weird. We didn't hang out outside of band stuff. Sure we were friendly in the studio and at lives, but other than occasional emailing there wasn't much non-musical communication.

As we went on some of that changed, and in fact the whole Yue leaving thing has brought us closer and tighter as a band and as friends than we had been before. Ironic I know but whatever.

Still, I am much closer friends with dudes in other bands than I am with my own band members. This is because when you play shows together, conversations flow a lot more naturally in that setting than in the deep thinking of whether someone will work in your band or not. My first conversations with "bigger" names in the scene were much less awkward than my first conversation with Ryota, and I honestly believe it's simply a matter of why we're even talking in the first place.

I understand what you mean by impersonal, but I want to stress that readers should take any negative connotations from it.

If you wanna ask me anything, send me an email!